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Midge Invasion Along Lake Erie Begins

Each spring, these tiny, harmless insects crop up to annoy us

Midges don’t bite, they’re not poisonous and typically don’t spread disease in the region, but gosh are they pesky. 

Folks along Lake Erie are used to them — midges use water and pools of stagnant rainwater to breed and multiply. 

Good news is, midges don’t last for long. Their lifespan is typically five to 10 days, and they won’t reappear until the fall, Heidelberg University biologist Ken Krieger told Lakewood Patch last midge season. 

Krieger has conducted extensive research on midges, and here are some facts about the season’s most annoying swarms of insects. 

Where they come from and what they look like:

  • Midges float all the way up from the bottom of Lake Erie, and typically are seen in higher concentrations along lakeside cities across the region.
  • They resemble mosquitoes, except they don’t bite.
  • They lie flat on their backs when resting, are about three-quarters of an inch in length and have long, sprawling legs.
  • They can fly in swarms so dense that they can be mistaken for columns of smoke above the Cleveland treetops.

Combating the midge nuisance:

  • Midges are characteristically drawn to bug zappers, and can be warded off with over-the-counter insect repellant.
  • Since they’re attracted to light, residents are encouraged to draw their blinds at night, keep their screens securely shut and turn off lights that aren’t being used.
  • Since they can also breed in shallow pools of water, it’s encouraged that residents attempt to soak up or lay tarps over the water that may have collected on their property to help prevent the insects from multiplying. Another good solution is introducing carp or goldfish to the pools as they will gobble up the midge larvae.
  • Midges are less attracted to sodium vapor light bulbs and halogen lights that have a pink, yellow or orange tint. 

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